By Lorna Heynike, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Callidus Software

Any of the 45,000 Dreamforce '11 attendees could tell you that this year's conference was an unqualified success for Salesforce.com -- the conference itself is emerging as the standard for the cloud computing movement. Every session, presentation, and exhibitor showcased the latest cloud and mobile solutions representing a massive shift in how today’s workforce does business.

dreamforce-booth-teamIt was especially interesting to see the number of companies across all sales force sizes sponsoring sales effectiveness roles, and to learn about the different initiatives these positions are engaged in to gain more leverage out of their existing sales resources – faster ramp up, higher win rates, higher order sizes, shorter sales cycles. Many of these leaders are also tasked with minimizing time away from the field – their initiatives have to plug in seamlessly with the mobile sales force.

We were joined by Jason Bowers, Director of Sales Effectiveness at Comcast, in a session devoted to the topic – Building Your Sales Dream Team, where we spoke to a packed room of Sales Effectiveness champions. A quick poll revealed that nearly each attendee was at some stage of the process of formalizing a Sales Coaching program for driving more effective selling in their organization.

A Great Sales Effectiveness Session

For those of you in charge of Sales Effectiveness initiatives at your organization who missed the session, here are a few key highlights:

  • Summary: With 1,500+ sales reps focused on developing Comcast's fast growing business unit, Comcast Business Services, it's vital for Comcast to enable processes, tools, and technologies to manage a more consistent level of high performance throughout its sales ranks. They need to ensure that they can gain the maximum productivity from their existing team, without merely accumulating headcount to add business.
  • The challenge: How can you manage what you can't measure? Comcast had to develop a way to define what sales productivity really means for different sales roles (inside, field, supporting), what actually drives that productivity, and then find a way to systematically measure it. This required a 360-degree view of sales performance across multiple sources of information, based on training data, sales force activities, compensation and financial results, and skills and competencies.
  • The solution: Comcast needed a solution that would enable their Sales Managers to quickly identify who was contributing the most output and who was lagging (the high potential middle performers), and how to coach that middle group based on actual proven drivers of productivity. Comcast selected the Callidus ForceLogix Sales Coaching platform because it was:
    • Easy: ForceLogix Coaching makes the job of sales managers easier, not harder. Sounds straight forward, but finding a tool that required less work (not more) was critical to driving sales adoption (the department that can be the most notorious for obliterating software rollouts if they take time away from the field).
    • Holistic: ForceLogix Coaching incorporates all components of the rep’s activities across systems and departments in one dashboard. That is, one logon, one dashboard, any device. The single dashboard incorporates the primary KPIs for each sales rep, and breaks down the KPIs to the critical leading indicators driving their output, across all of Comcast’s systems.
    • Visual: ForceLogix Coaching enables managers to quickly visualize where the team is in the quarter, and quickly diagnose each rep’s contribution, what his or her challenges are, and take fast corrective action.

Callidus Software Buzz at the Dreamforce Booth

ipadsignAfter the session, the booth buzzed with conversations as session attendees and colleagues lined up for demos of our MySalesCoach iPad app, and discussed best practices in coaching. The most frequently asked question: How do you know what to measure? That is, what are the key performance indicators (KPIs) that lead to improved sales performance? Look for our next blog post as we dive into the topic of selecting the right KPIs and developing score cards that take the guesswork out of coaching your sales organization.

Congratulations to the winners of five iPad™ 2s that we gave away at the conference. Each iPad™ 2 came preloaded with a 1-year subscription to a select Callidus mobile application.